You may have heard people recommending all kinds of traditional products, from baking soda to vinegar and washing crystals, as a safer way of doing the cleaning.
These might be traditional and safe when used appropriately, but that doesn’t mean they’re harmless.
Many “traditional” cleaning products can be used safely, just like modern products, but it’s important that you know what the risks and hazards are.
Don’t be fooled into thinking they’re any more “natural” than a modern product
Vinegar: corrosive acid, nice on your chips
Traditional cleaning products can be more hazardous than you might first think. For example, the cleaning power of vinegar comes from acetic acid, which in its concentrated form is both corrosive and potentially fatal if ingested. Yet in dilute form it’s safe enough to put on your chips.
Modern cleaning products still use some of these ingredients, but combined with other things to give the desired performance. By all means, try the old approaches but be sure to follow the golden rules for safe cleaning just the same.
Washing crystals can damage your eyes
Washing crystals are the chemical ‘sodium carbonate’ and they must bear warning symbols as they are irritant to skin and can damage eyes, so care must be taken to use them safely.
If these traditional substances really produced excellent cleaning with minimum damage to the things being cleaned, and were safe, sustainable and acceptable in every way, modern cleaning products would never have been invented, and they certainly wouldn’t have kept selling!